Australia’s population is growing, but this doesn’t necessarily mean a higher demand for housing, according to news.com.au reporter Michael Matusik.
The country’s population grew by 331,000 people last year, up from 254,000 two years ago and net overseas migration has more than doubled in the past year, to 71,000 over the past three months - but Matusk says the numbers can be deceiving.
“On face value, the numbers are encouraging, but the economic reality is that increasing migrant numbers will not create a significant increase in housing demand for the short term. When looking at the Australia-wide picture, two-thirds of the recent population increase is due to an increase in overseas migration.”
The majority of these migrants come from New Zealand (30,000 a year, up from 18,000 two years before); followed by China (20,000 a year, little changed); 25,000 from Europe (up 10,000 over the past 12 months alone) and 15,000 from India (up 5000 on 2010 figures).
For many migrants, circumstances will mean that they will share space, occupying every room in a house and probably renting rather than buying.
“An increase in housing demand will certainly follow on from the lift in population growth, but it might take years to eventuate and could have less economic stimulus than past multipliers would suggest. The housing industry must respond to the realities of today, if we are to see the industry working once again.”